On World Mental Health Day, Shaheen Bhatt launched her memoir titled I've Never Been (Un)Happier in which she talks about her battle against depression and suicidal thoughts. Her younger sister, actress Alia Bhatt also gave her sister a shoutout on her big day. The book is officially available on various online stores for pre-order!
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Shaheen has on various occasions spoken up about her struggle with the mental illness, including the piece she wrote for Vogue in which she opened up about her everyday battle.
"I’ve lived with depression since I was 12 years old and since then I’ve been suicidal on more than one occasion. I’ve experienced the sheer terror of contemplating a life filled with unrelenting anguish, and I’ve been consumed by the terrifying thought of having but a single means of escape from a bleak, unbearable future," she wrote.
Shaheen also shared an Instagram post in which she stated that she 'lived' with depression and didn't actually struggle with it.
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I've lived with depression on and off since I was about 13 years old. This is not a revelation or a confession. Those who know me know this about me. It's not something I take any pains to hide, I'm not ashamed of it or particularly troubled by it. It's just a part of who I am. I have days where I feel good and then I have days where I don't. One minute everything's fine and the next it's like someone turned the light off inside my head. I go quiet and it's difficult to get out of bed. Like it always does the world around me loses focus and I struggle to make sense of it. Sometimes these bouts last an hour - sometimes they last days. Today, I'm on day 4. I say I live with depression rather than I struggle with it because for me (and I speak only for myself here) I don't see why it has to be a struggle. I once read an idea by an American essayist called Richard Mitchell which stayed with me; it's now become how I try to approach the dips in my week or month. The idea is this: To be sick, or to suffer, is inevitable. But to become bitter and vindictive in sickness and suffering and to surrender to irrationality, supposing yourself the innocent and virtuous victim of the evils intentions of the world, is not inevitable. The appropriate answer to the question - Why me? is the other question - Why not me? *** Why am I writing about this? Well, I spend a fair amount of time on social media during the course of my day and today I found myself looking for something to post because it's been a few days since I've posted anything. I couldn't find anything so I figured I'd just talk about this - how I'm doing, instead of what I'm doing. It's as simple as that, and we could all stand to do a little more of it. P.S. That picture just seemed to work in this context.
She also shared her thoughts on making the decision to talk about it on social media. Shaheed said, "A year and a half ago I chose to talk about my own experiences with depression on social media and even though I had never hidden that facet of my life, I was concerned about the judgment I would receive. Social media has given rise to a dangerous tendency to airbrush and filter our personal lives. There is so much value placed on false ideas of positivity and emotional prosperity that we present our lives as immaculate highlight reels entirely devoid of substance, and altogether devoid of the aches and pains of what it means to be human."
In a recent interview with a leading newspaper, Shaheen's father, Mahesh Bhatt decided to speak up about depression and address the taboo that surrounds the topic. He said, "It’s a form of mental illness and it can be treated. When you suffer from diabetes then, you have to take insulin shots. Similarly, when you are prone to depression then you need to consult a doctor who can treat you through medication but, I think in our country, we are lacking in generating awareness about mental illness. Almost in every household people are suffering from depression."
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He even spoke about Shaheen's upcoming book, "My daughter Shaheen, Alia’s elder sister, she, at the age of 16 discovered finally that she is suffering from clinical depression. In October, she is launching her own memoir in which she has talked about the kind of struggle she has gone through in that phase."
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